Experts agree that social policies should always be based around the family

For the UN International Day of the Family, the Institute for Advanced Family Studies held a conference on child and family policies in the framework of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The conference was organised as an activity of the Childcare and Family Policies Chair.

It took place in the UIC's Saló de Graus. The event was inaugurated by Esperanza Molins, director of Molins Figueres Foundation, the Chair's main partner; Irma Rognoni, councillor for the Sants-Montjuïc district; and Montserrat Gas, director of the Institute for Advanced Family Studies.

Molins highlighted her foundation's commitment to improving society and supporting families and children. She reminded us of the UN Secretary-General's words that "leaving no one behind means living no family behind". Rognoni described some of the initiatives being carried out by local councils and made the point that the family is the hub that links all public policy. "The family is the fundamental school for learning how to manage conflict. We need to offer so much support the family. When we design a city, we must remember that the family is the hub that connects all policy."

The keynote was Pau Marí-Klose, the ex-Spanish High Commissioner for the Fight against Child Poverty. Marí-Klose spoke about “the fight against child poverty in the framework of the SDGs”. He said that child poverty "is a corrosive handicap the conditions individuals throughout their entire lives" and that "poverty creates conditions of family stress and environmental pressure. These are tense homes, with intergenerational tensions between parents and children".

Photo: the speakers group

After the coffee break, the conference continued with two round tables. The first, more academic, looked at family plans and good practices that have been carried out in the current demographic context. The speakers, Pau Miret, researcher at the Centre for Demographic Studies at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and Pablo García, psychology and sociology lecturer at the Universidad de Zaragoza, outlined the key points and gave some examples.

The second round table, which closed the conference, had a more practical perspective. The speakers were representatives from third-sector associations and foundations that work on a daily basis with and for families: Marta Creus, adviser to social project teams dealing with families and children at risk at Caritas Barcelona; Mercè Carreras, technical director of AEMA SCCL, an association operating in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat; Maria Nadeu, director of the Salut Alta Foundation, an institution based in the Badalona district Salut Alta; Jaume Larriba, president of the PDS (Social Development and Promotion) Association; and Anna Plans, president of the Association of Consumers of Audiovisual Media of Catalonia.

The speakers agreed that the most effective support entailed initiatives that a family itself wanted, carried out in tune with the family's dynamics and based on its needs.

Photo: second round table